Career Services to sponsor entrepreneurship program

Lauren Piro

For the second year in a row Career Services will sponsor its one-day program titled “Beyond Ideas: The Art of Entrepreneurship.” Set to take place in January, the program began ongoing registration last week.

“Beyond Ideas” is an event dedicated to showing students how to go forward with their entrepreneurial ideas or to perhaps start brainstorming possible business ventures. Jennifer Wickersham, assistant director of Career Services, notes that the program is open to students in all colleges within the University, both undergrads and graduate students alike.

“[The event is for] any student who has an idea or even someone who already has a full-fledged business,” Wickersham said.

The event was successful last year, with 77 students attending. Career Services received good feedback on the event and has included many improvements and additions to this year’s program. One new workshop added was the “I Have an Idea!” session. At this workshop, students will get the chance to present and receive feedback on their entrepreneurial ideas, Wickersham said.

Another new addition to “Beyond Ideas” will include alumni panels where Villanova graduates will discuss experience in their personal business endeavors. Those expected to be in attendance include Ed Dougherty, assistant professor at the University in the electrical and computer engineering department and founder of August Design, LLC.

Dougherty has over 30 years experience in design, development and management of electronic and software systems, including participation in creating the aerial robotic camera system Skycam, which has won both an Academy Award and an Emmy. He is also the president of Ablaze Systems, LLC, and Ablaze Development, LLC.

Also on the panel will be Steve Christini, president of Christini Technologies, Inc.

Other workshops throughout the day will include those on financing, business planning, social entrepreneurship and one titled “Going Beyond Ideas,” a session where attendees will be able to hear from current Villanova students’ entrepreneurial realties.

The day will conclude with a networking session with presenters as well as alumni.

“It is a really good opportunity for students to connect with someone who has expertise in a specific area,” Wickersham said, noting how it is important to create business relationships.

Students who attended last year’s event are welcome to come again. Career Services is expecting the program to be even more popular than last year.

“I think [last year’s event] really energized people,” Wickersham said. “It made people realize if they had an idea, they have the ability to make it a reality.”

Hence, Wickersham expects the program to fill up rather quickly and will only be accepting 120 students. It is encouraged to sign up as soon as possible.

“Beyond Ideas” will take place in Bartley Hall on Saturday, Jan. 12. It is scheduled to last from 8:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Students can view the entire day’s schedule and register at There is a $25 fee, and attendees are encouraged to pay online.

Students interested in presenting at the “I Have an Idea!” session will have to fill out an additional registration form on the Web site. For more information, those interested can also visit the Office of Career Services.